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What is WIFI 6?

Posted by Sophie Ashwood | 15-Jan-2020 17:30:02

WIFI 6 is the 6th Generation of WIFI, also known as 802.11ax - it's been created in response to the amount of devices currently in use around the world. Designed to help improve speed, efficiency and performance in congested areas, from stadiums and business parks to your own home. It’s the next generation standard in WIFI technology.

You’ll be able to enjoy interference-free WIFI in complicated network environments as WIFI 6 employs BSS colour. This identifies devices and routers, creating a more stable connection- because of these these innovations you'll have:

  • 4 x Higher Performance
  • 4 x Greater Capacity
  • 3 x Faster Speed
  • Increased Coverage

WIFI 6 will double the channel width from 80MHz to 160MHz, so you’ll have a faster connection from router to device. You'll be able to upload and download large files with ease and without buffering.

So how does this work?

WIFI 6 works on the same frequency channels as WIFI 5, but floods the channels with more data to make better use of them, offering up to 11GBps. The current WIFI 5 only transfers a maximum of 1GBps according to Cisco.

Will I notice a difference?

WIFI 6 is still new, so you may not notice a difference until you add more devices to your network. But, with the capacity being 4 times larger than WIFI 5, you should notice a difference in crowded networks, whether that's at home, in the office, or in large areas such as stadiums and airports.

Is there a difference in power consumption?

WIFI 6 includes a feature called Target Wake Time - this allows devices to negotiate when and how often they wake up to send and receive data. This means that when the access point is talking to your smart device, such as your phone or tablet, it can let it know when to sleep and when to wake up to receive the next transmission. Therefore, conserving power and allowing the WIFI radio to spend more time in sleep mode, thus extending the battery life of your devices.

How is it faster?

There are two technologies that are speeding up WIFI 6 connections – MU-MIMO and OFDMA.

MU-MIMO stands for, Multi-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output. This technology allows a router to communicate with multiple devices. It's currently used with the routers we have at the moment, but we're only communicating with 4 devices. WIFI 6 upgrades it, allowing a router to communicate with up to 8.

The second technology, OFDMA, stands for Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access, which allows one transmission to deliver data to multiple devices at once instead of queuing delivery.

How do you get WIFI 6?

If you want to upgrade to WIFI 6, you’ll need to buy new devices. WIFI generations rely on new hardware, not just software updates. So, if you want to make the most out of WIFI 6, it’s recommended to upgrade your smart devices.

Additionally, you’ll have to check if your router is designed to support WIFI 6, otherwise you won’t see any benefits from your new devices.

However, you could see a benefit from connecting WIFI 5 devices to a WIFI 6 router as it’s designed to communicate with multiple devices at once.

Should you upgrade?

At the moment, WIFI 6 is still new and devices are only just surfacing with compatible technology. If you'd like to upgrade, we’d recommend starting with your router so you'll be ready for compatible smart devices further down the line.

If you’d like to discuss WIFI 6 and how it could benefit your business, please get in touch with one of our specialists.

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Topics: WIFI 6

Written by Sophie Ashwood

Marketing Executive at AZTech IT Solutions

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